This is authentic - "

sweet and sour chicken

I have been meaning to put this recipe up for ages and am finally getting to it– just when everybody else (of course) is serving up ideas for summertime cooking outdoors…

Whatever. There is always a place for the quick and easy dinner plan. Especially for those of us with tiny hungry picky mouths to feed. And when it stars the lowly and inexpensive chicken thigh (my favorite part of the chicken, with it’s sweet dark meat, is actually far more nutrient laden than the ubiquitous breast) it’s a no brainer.

I discovered this recipe while scanning the magazine racks of Whole Foods in desperation, looking for something, anything, to help pass the time in that endless line. Lo and behold, there it was. The (at the time) new Gourmet Magazine’s Quick Kitchen, a special edition chock full of Gourmet (aka totally delicious) style recipes that can be made in less than the typical Gourmet style (aka lengthy and laborious) time. It was like a gift from the heavens.

So click below for the chicken recipe. I know it by heart at this point, ’cause I make it almost once a week. And if you go to Gourmet’s site (which is all that is left of that venerable mag) you can order the Quick Kitchen special issue and get loads more ideas for ways to serve up deliciousness without breaking a sweat.


yield: Makes 4 to 6 main-course servings

active time: 30 min

total time: 1 1/4 hr



  • 8 small chicken thighs with skin and bone (2 1/2 to 2 3/4 lb total), trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 lb carrots (6 medium), cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mild honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro


Pat chicken dry. Stir together 1 1/2 teaspoons salt with paprika, cinnamon, and pepper and rub onto chicken.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken in 2 batches, turning over once, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken as browned to a plate.

Discard all but 3 tablespoons fat from skillet, then add onion and carrots. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.

Return chicken, skin sides up, to skillet, nestling it into vegetables. Stir together water, lemon juice, and honey until blended and add to skillet, then cook over moderately low heat, covered, until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. If necessary, skim fat from sauce, then add salt to taste. Sprinkle with herbs just before serving.

(photo by: Romulo Yanes)

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